COMMUNITY CHURCH OF DURHAM HOR

LOVE & JUSTICE: FAITH IN ACTION (4/9)

Dear Friends of God,

Every Friday, this "Love & Justice" email connects you to the work and ministry of our brave partners: shelters, organizing efforts, solidarity coalitions, interfaith campaigns and hands-on food pantries. You'll see opportunities for engagement: letters you might write on particular issues, donations sought for special causes, invitations for shared ministry and witness. The range of all this speaks to our shared passion for justice and mercy. And it offers a stunning glimpse of what it means to be the church in 2020.

As people of faith, our goal is not someday to "return to normal"--as if that's what this crisis is all about. Instead, our hope is in a better, gentler and more just community of communities--in which justice and peace are a living experience for all God's creatures.

God, in your mercy, hear that prayer!

Dave Grishaw-Jones (Pastor)
Jane Gallant (Chair, Justice & Witness Ministry)
The Community Church of Durham

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SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES

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SEACOAST INTERFAITH SANCTUARY COALITION:
Peggy Kieschnick, Cindy Nottage, & Dale Hempen, Liaisons

Live Into Hope!!--As a People of Faith believing in the Hope of New Life and Resurrection, we have an opportunity to put our beliefs into action! There is an immediate threat of coronavirus spreading through the people held in immigration detention. Some detainees held at the Strafford County Jail may be temporarily released in the next couple of weeks for their own safety and protection. Those released into our nearby communities would be in quarantine for two weeks. Their release could be to a host home or to a motel. After the two weeks of quarantine, the detainees may need housing with a host home for a few months.

The Love and Justice Team has been exploring motel possibilities for the two-week quarantine period. The team would like to be able to provide for two detainees. Two or three local motels have agreed to welcome quarantined immigrant detainees. The Team needs to raise $3000 for the motel and other expenses.

Here is where YOU can help as People of Faith, Living into Hope!
Provide housing for the quarantine two-week quarantine or after the quarantine for a longer term.
Become a guardian for the detainee--this would involve picking up the person at the County Jail transporting them to the motel/home and agreeing to deliver mail to them. You would not need to be the place of residence or a legal guardian.
Assist with providing meals, groceries, clothing or toiletries, items as needed.
Transport the person to appointments and shopping after the time of quarantine.
Money donations or gift cards to be used for motels during quarantine, food and other needs.
Contributions to CCD (through our online giving portal) should be marked on the memo line "For Immigration Detention." (Click on 'stewardship' and then 'other'--to get there!)

Indeed, we are called as a People of Faith to..."Live into Hope, of captives freed from chains of want, and fear and greed. God now proclaims their full release, the year of God's own Jubilee." (From Jane Parker Huber's Hymn, "Live Into Hope!")--For more on offering housing, or making contributions, be in touch with Cheryl and Dale Hempen, Volunteer Coordinators for Immigration Projects, CCD (Cahempen@comcast.net, Dahempen@comcast.net

IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE SUPPORT GROUP:
Cindy Nottage & Debbie Leavitt, Liaisons

The NH Council of churches offered a Good Friday Stations of the Cross connected to immigration which also raised money for the UCC bond fund. Thank you all who watched and who donated.

Here’s another petition calling for the release of immigrants imprisoned at the Strafford County Jail. They are hoping for 1000 signatures and are over half-way there.

50-70 cars circled the Strafford County Jail on Saturday, showing support for our immigrant brothers and sisters who are detained there and asking for their release during this pandemic. Dave Grishaw-Jones was one of the drivers and made a video documenting the rally.

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THE CHURCH IN MOTION: WHAT WE CAN DO

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1. STRAFFORD COUNTY JAIL & RIVERSIDE REST HOME:
Joy Downs, Liaison

This will be the most bountiful week yet in terms of facemasks sewn and delivered to the staff at Strafford County! Thanks to Carly Hellen, who contacted their social worker about connecting with Joy, the residents at Riverwoods Durham will be donating 50 masks! Thanks to Natalie Crotty, Kitty Hicks, and Jean Olson, the total number will be larger still. These gifts of time and talent are nothing short of inspiring. We are all truly blessed to be part of such a giving community. If you are interested in sewing face masks for this project, please contact Joy Downs (jrdowns22@gmail.com) for more information.

2. CORNUCOPIA FOOD PANTRY:
Mary Jane & Hugh Tyler, Liaisons
At Waysmeet, 15 Mill Rd., Durham, 603-862-1165

Cornucopia food pantry continues to provide food boxes serving about 200 people weekly. The pantry is still operating under rigid social distancing rules. Thanks to all who have volunteered their time and treasures. Feel free to contact Mary Jane, marytyler@comcast.net, Hugh, earle-tyler@comcast.net, or Chuck Goeller at Waysmeet with questions.

3. DOVER FRIENDLY KITCHEN:
Bryn Burns & Beth Cilley, Liaisons

With the Covid 19 crisis, we are following new procedures at The Dover Friendly Kitchen. It is now take-out only instead of a seated dinner. Beth Cilley and Bryn Burns will make and package up green salad and sandwiches to be handed out on April 30th at DFK. We do not need volunteers for that evening, but we do need donations of cookies and hard cooked eggs! We would like to place those in individual ziploc bags. Looking for folks to make, bake or buy!!! Please reach out to Bryn, brynb07@comcast.net or Beth, cilley@comcast.net. As always, we appreciate the generosity of our beloved Church members and friends.

4. FAMILIES FIRST
Debbie Leavitt, Liaison

Thank you to all who are supporting the Families First program of Greater Seacoast Community Health during this pandemic. We are continuing to collect Hannaford and Market Basket gift cards to support their clients who are unemployed or in dire economic circumstances. You can purchase a gift card or two when doing your grocery shopping, and then contact Debbie Leavitt at daleavitt77@comcast.net so she can make arrangements to pick it up safely. We are the church's witness together!

5. HOMELESS SHELTER OF STRAFFORD COUNTY:
Leslie Martin, Liaison

A client is moving from the shelter to an apartment and needs a used sofa or loveseat to call it "home." We will pick up and deliver the first one offered. Contact Leslie Martin at 603-292-5443.

6. INMATES AT STRAFFORD:
Strafford County Jail
Contact Dave Grishaw-Jones: DavidGJ@CCDurham.org

While inmates are not allowed to receive correspondence from volunteers, there is interest (right now) in a special Prayer Gathering devoted to their well-being and spiritual care. Dave Grishaw-Jones invites you to join him in 15 minutes of prayer, every Friday at 9:30 am. This Prayer Gathering is something you can keep simply and silently in your own home...or you can join Dave on Facebook Live for a series of prayers and responses. The jail's chaplain will let inmates (women and men) know that our prayers are gathered together and offered in friendship from 9:30 to 9:45 am every Friday. (Let Dave know if you're joining this weekly Prayer Gathering--so he can celebrate the connections, compassion and care that link us to sisters and brothers in the Strafford jail.)

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END 68 HOURS OF HUNGER

REFLECTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FROM JON BROMLEY:
Contact Jon Bromley, Liaison, at lorjon77@comcast.net

Many students are considered food insecure and do not have enough food to get them through even a normal weekend. Thankfully, End 68 Hours of Hunger is determined to help fight childhood hunger by providing food to children that will help feed them over a weekend (i.e., 68 hours). More about his organization can be found on their website: https://www.end68hoursofhunger.org/about-us/.

Through this pandemic emergency, and beyond, we are asking if you would consider supporting End 68 Hours of Hunger in our region. End 68 Hours is engaged in a number of New Hampshire communities, including the Oyster River School District, Dover, Barrington and Newmarket.

How can you get involved? Here are some options:
(1) You can make monetary donations to any community End 68 hours supports (see the website above for more details).
(2) You can donate food directly to these communities - each community publicizes on the website drop off locations and times.
(3) You can *donate food to a drop-off location at the Community Church*
and we will deliver it for you. Look for the blue plastic bin by the main office door, and drop off food there.

(4) And finally...and perhaps most interesting...you can contact Cathi Stetson (computer science teacher at ORHS) via Facebook and request a photoshoot of your family on the front steps of your home (from a safe distance away) and get a professional photograph of your family. In return, you provide a donation to End 68 Hours of Hunger that she will deliver. So, look Cathi Stetson up on Facebook, send her a message, and schedule a photoshoot.

*If you are going to donate food, please know that they are looking for the following items: Canned Tuna & Chicken; Canned Soup; Boxed Cereal; Instant Oatmeal; Macaroni & Cheese; Nutrition Bars; Canned Pastas; Canned Vegetables; Ramen Noodles.

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DO JUSTICE: ORGANIZE & ADVOCATE

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SUPPORT H.R. 2407:
The Promting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.

On April 30, 2019, Rep. Betty McCollum reintroduced the "Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act" (HR 2407). The bill would prohibit U.S. taxpayer funds from supporting grave human rights violations against Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.

Palestinian children have the right to a safe and just future. We believe the United States government must use all available means to pressure relevant Israeli authorities to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.

Click on the link here to send a message to Congressperson Pappas about your support for HR 2407.

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HOPE & PEACE: CHURCH-WIDE ART PROJECT!

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AIMING FOR SUNDAY, MAY 10:
A project of the youth program at CCD

Collaborating with Pastor Dave, our 4th and 5th grade youth invite any and all to participate in the Hope & Peace Challenge. Create a 2D or 3D piece of art that somehow embodies what hope and peace mean to you and your family or friends. We're hoping to include many, many of your pictures in our online service Sunday, May 10. Email a picture of your creation to Kristin or Pastor Dave by Wednesday, May 6 to have it included! Let's show the world what hope, peace and justice mean to us at the Community Church. Be creative!

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WE'RE RINGING THE BELL FOR COMPASSION!

Throughout the United States, our hospital workers and ambulance personnel constantly put their lives on the line to save the lives of the stricken. Our fire, police, municipal and grocery store workers risk exposing themselves to the virus daily. Our educators have had to totally reconfigure the educational environment to reach into the home in order to continue to teach our students.

In these times, how do we say Thank You? If you have been watching the 11:00 news lately, you may have seen a clip from Milan, Italy; people quarantined to apartments raise their voices in song from balconies. Of folks in New York City or Boston leaning out their windows at 7 PM each night, banging pots, clapping and cheering to show their thanks for the people who have been putting themselves in harm’s way during the Coronavirus. What a magnificent sound. And although we in Durham seem to be on the fringes of this pandemic, our first responders are still at the forefront; this is why you may have recently heard bells ringing from the Community Church and UNH T Hall right at 7 PM.

This is our way of showing our gratitude and support, and to remind us all to stay strong in our social distancing and handwashing so that we’ll all get through this dark time. The bell at the Community Church was a mode of communication in Durham about 50 years before the invention of radio or telephone, and its peal continues to send a message of hope and solidarity to all of us. Thanks so much for what you do!

We're especially grateful for Nat Balch and the Stewards for leading this initiative, and helping us all to say THANK YOU to the many who serve us!

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THE LOVE & JUSTICE TEAM
formed for the outbreak and this season of crisis and isolation:
Jon Bromley, Lorie Bromley, Joy Downs, Audrey Drogseth, Jane Gallant, Emma Hilary Gould, Beryl Harper, Debbie Leavitt, Cindy Nottage, Brenda Sargent, Henry Smith, Maggie Morrison and Carla Wilson

This "Love & Justice E-Letter" is a weekly communication to our church about the opportunities for service, witness and mercy in this difficult time. Through our love and kindness, we hope to be God's friends, God's hands and arms in the world. Special thanks to Audrey Drogseth and Cindy Nottage for coordinating the great information we're collecting every week!

For more about the Community Church:
(The Rev.) Dave Grishaw-Jones, Pastor
The Community Church of Durham
DavidGJ@CCDurham.org
603-868-1230 (church)
831-706-6819 (cell)

 
 
 
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